About 120 acres of bluegrass went up in smoke Monday near Coeur d’Alene, the first day of the 1995 field burning season.
More significant burning is expected to get under way today and the rest of the week as high temperatures dry out fields, said Ed Honodel, chief meteorologist at the Rathdrum Weather Station.
Wet weather delayed the traditional Aug. 15 startup of field burning. The fields, used to raise Kentucky bluegrass seed, are burned each year to clear stubble and improve yields.
Idaho growers are allowed to burn 14 days during the next month and a half. Washington growers have agreed to the same 45-day overall season, but have no limit on the actual number of days they can burn.
Growers in both states have agreed not to burn on Fridays, Saturday, Sundays or holidays. The Idaho Division of Environmental Quality is monitoring smoke levels on an hourly basis this year, for the first time. If pollution exceeds a set limit any one hour, growers are prohibited from lighting additional fields that day.
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